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Remains found in remote Colorado mountains 33 years ago identified as man from Indiana

Could your DNA help solve a cold case?
Could your DNA help solve a cold case? 05:01

Human remains discovered 33 years ago in a remote mountain pass in Colorado have been identified thanks to modern forensic tests, authorities said.

Those remains belonged to Steven Kenneth Risku, who was in his mid-30s and lived in Indiana at the time of his death, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation announced in a news release. The remains were initially found on Wolf Creek Pass in the San Juan Mountains of southern Colorado in 1991.

The Colorado investigative bureau partnered with the Mineral County Sheriff's Office, whose jurisdiction includes Wolf Creek Pass, to work the cold case. They eventually were able to identify Risku's remains using genetic genealogy and dental records along with "other investigative tools," according to the bureau.

Steven Risku's remains were discovered on a remote mountain pass in Colorado in 1991. Mineral County Sheriff's Office

Whether foul play contributed to Risku's death was still unclear. Wolf Creek Pass is a notorious roadway known for dangerous and sometimes deadly vehicle crashes, at least in more recent years, according to the Colorado Department of Transportation.

Citing Risku's family, authorities said he did occasionally travel west to California from Indiana during his life. How and why he ended up in the Colorado mountains was not known, authorities said, although the family previously told investigators that Risku was an adventurous person who loved being outdoors.

"The identification of Mr. Risku is a tremendous first step in helping  provide his family with answers," said Mineral County Sheriff Terry Wetherill in a statement. "If anyone has information as to why or how Steven Risku was at a remote location on Wolf Creek Pass or if anyone has any additional questions, please contact the Mineral County Sheriff's Office."

People with knowledge of what may have happened to Risku should call the sheriff's office at 719-658-2600.

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